Ask Finney: SF home buying, mobile home shopping, kitchen repair work

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7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:
Linda asked: When is the best time and place to buy a home in San Francisco?

Answer 1:
When you have a down payment and plan to be here at least two years, better if it is five. Traditionally prices drop a bit in the late summer and fall, but that does not always hold true in San Francisco.

The best place is a neighborhood that works for you, either because it is close to work or schools or because it is your dream neighborhood.

My final advice is ten years after you buy you will look like a financial genius; prices were high when I was a kid growing up here and they are high today.

Question 2:
Raymond from Santa Rosa asked: We have purchased a new motor home. The dealership strongly recommends the purchase of additional warranty protection for the appliances, engine and other parts.
The cost is nearly $10,000. Is this added protection worth it?
Answer 2:
Do not feel pressure top buy right away. Most extended warranties can be bought later and most do not pay for themselves.

If it seems like something you want to buy, remember the prices are not set in stone, compare warranties and negotiate.

I prefer the ones that come from the manufacturer. Third party warranties sometimes come with small print that makes it impossible to collect.

A number of year's back I exposed a warranty that excluded any part that is bolted on to a vehicle.

Question 3:
Adriana H. asked: My refrigerator stopped working properly six months after I bought it. I contacted the store several times, but it hasn't been fixed. What can I do?

Answer 3:
Since it has been only six months, it's still very likely under warranty. If you have contacted them by phone, e-mail, and even letter, I want you to prepare your documents, like your receipts and warranty, and call my hotline.

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